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But in fact in this particular game Deng Xiaoping held a good hand of cards and Suslov knew it. After the October 1956 events the influence of the CCP on the political moods and the power struggle in the Kremlin was at its peak. This influence had no precedent under Stalin and it declined later, when Khrushchev ousted his rivals and moved to the position of unchallenged leader of the party and state. This phenomenon, as well as the importance of the Chinese pressure on the Soviets during the Polish-Hungarian "October," has not been understood by Western observers and scholars; nor was it admitted then and later by the Soviets themselves. Yet, like the events in Hungary and Poland, the changing equation between Moscow and Beijing was a direct result of Khrushchev’s cavalier de-Stalinization and the turmoil it caused in the communist movement and the ranks of the Soviet leadership itself. Internationally, Khrushchev's revelations had shattered the traditional hierarchy of the communist world, with Moscow at the top. Internally, the Soviets weakened themselves with internal strife and were eager to cater to the Chinese in order to preserve the unity of the socialist camp.” Khrushchev, who a year earlier had attacked Stalin's and Molotov's role in antagonizing Tito's Yugoslavia (See Plenums section of this Bulletin), was determined to avoid the same mistakes with Communist China, whatever Mao said about Stalin. And Molotov and other opponents of de-Stalinization in the Soviet leadership looked at the Chinese as their potential allies against Khrushchev.
A majority of the Presidium secretly agreed with Chinese assessments of the situation and Khrushchev felt the danger of a united front between Beijing and what would become in June 1957 “the anti-party group" of Molotov, Malenkov and Kaganovich, as well as Pervukhin, Voroshilov, and Dmitrii Shepilov. During Zhou Enlai's visit to Moscow in January 1957 the CC CPSU Presidium de facto reversed the policy of deStalinization and Khrushchev had to name Stalin publicly “a great Marxist-Leninist.” This was Khrushchev's forced tactical concessions to the growing opposition, and as Molotov sardonically observed in June 1957: “Of course, when com. Zhou Enlai came, we began to lean over backward (raspisivatsia) that Stalin is such a communist that one wishes everyone would be like him. But when Zhou Enlai left, we stopped doing it. "21
In fact, the Chinese leadership preferred to abstain from the power struggle in the Kremlin, perhaps because Mao underestimated Khrushchev's chances for political survival and triumph. At the same time they began to see the CCP and themselves as the central and more senior and experienced “unit" in the world communist movement. After his visit to Moscow, Zhou Enlai reported to the CC Politburo and Mao Zedong that the Soviet leaders (and he
meant Khrushchev, Mikoian, and Bulganin in the first place) “explicitly demonstrate weakness in considering and discussing strategic and long-term issues." The report went to describe examples of Soviet “swashbuckling," internal disagreements and equivocation. Of particular interest was a comment apparently saved for Khrushchev: “extremely conceited, blinded by lust for gain, lacking farsightedness, and knowing little the ways of the world, some of their (Soviet-VZ] leaders have hardly improved themselves even with the several rebuffs they have met in the past year... They appear to lack confidence and suffer from inner fears and thus tend to employ the tactics of bluffing or threats in handling foreign affairs or relations with other brotherly parties.” On the positive side, however, Zhou's report noted with obvious satisfaction that "now the Soviet Union and China can sit down to discuss issues equally. Even if they have different ideas on certain issues, they must consult with us."22
Soon after Khrushchev emerged victorious from the power struggle, Mao's exasperation with him began to show. Mao's agreement to participate in the Moscow international conference of communist parties in November 1957 was just a lull in the growing tension. Soon Mao's wrath was triggered by two Soviet proposals: to establish along the Chinese coast a set of long-wave radio stations to guide Soviet submarines in the Pacific Ocean, and to build a joint Sino-Soviet nuclear-powered submarine fleet. Mao Zedong interpreted the first proposal as a Soviet attempt to gain new military bases in China and the second as a rejection of an earlier Chinese request for Soviet technology, in order to enable the PRC to build its own nuclear submarines.
On 22 July 1958, Mao Zedong vented this rage at Soviet ambassador Pavel Iudin regarding the ostensible resumption of unequal treatment of China by the Soviet leadership. The transcript of this meeting, translated by Zhang Shu Guang and Chen Jian, highlights what happened beneath the surface of the Sino-Soviet friendship around November 1957 and sheds new light on the role of Deng Xiaoping as Mao's right-hand man. As Mao told Iudin, in Moscow in November he had “often pointed out [to the Soviet leaders), there had existed no such thing as brotherly relations among all the parties because, (your leaders) merely paid lip service and never meant it; as a result, the relations between [the brotherly) parties can be described as between father and son or between cats and mice. I have raised this issue in my private meetings with Khrushchev and other (Soviet] comrades.... Present were Bulganin, Mikoian, and Suslov... From the Chinese side, I and Deng Xiaoping were present." [my italics—VZ).
"While in Moscow," Mao Zedong continued, he assigned "Deng Xiaoping to raise five (controversial) issues. We won't openly talk about them even in the future, because our doing so would hurt Comrade Khrushchev's (political position). In order to help consolidate his [Khrushchev's) leadership, we decided not to talk about these (controversies), although it does not
mean that the justice is not on our side."23
reported that, according to Deng Xiaoping, "comrade When Khrushchev secretly flew to Beijing on 31 July Khrushchev's report (at the Supreme Soviet, when he 1958 and tried to resolve tension during long talks with revealed that the Soviets had Francis Gary Powers in Mao Zedong around a swimming pool at his house (and captivity] made a huge impression,” and “important new even in the pool), Deng Xiaoping was at Mao's side. measures in the area of internal policy had once again According to Salisbury's sources, "Mao heard Khrushchev displayed the Soviet Union's strength to the whole world." out, then turned Deng Xiaoping loose. Deng flew at the Historians would be interested to know that Chervonenko, Soviet leader like a terrier. He accused the Russians of on Khrushchev's instructions, informed Deng Xiaoping 'Great Nation' and 'Great Party' chauvinism." Deng told “about the position of the Soviet Union in connection with Khrushchev that China had no objection to long-distance the summit conference.” Deng noted that Khrushchev wireless communications for the Soviet fleet, but they “acted completely correctly by going to Paris; he should must be Chinese-built, Chinese-operated, and Chinese- have gone." He also said that the Soviet leader "fully controlled. He criticized the conduct of Soviet advisers in uncovered the true face of Eisenhower and the imperialChina. 24 Chinese recollections (and apparently Deng's ists.” monologue) repeated almost word by word Mao's ha
What came next from Deng Xiaoping, however, could rangue to Iudin. But Deng could be even more blunt than not have pleased the Soviets. In a disingenuous twist of Mao Zedong and he did it with relish.
topic, he compared Khrushchev's denunciation of Later, during the July 1963 consultations with the Eisenhower with Zhou Enlai's denunciation of the Indian Soviets, he told them that in April-July 1958 the CPSU had Prime Minster Nehru during Zhou's trip to India. sought to put China under its military control. But we “Nehru's true face was uncovered," said Deng Xiaoping, guessed through your intentions, and you failed to achieve knowing perfectly well that he was talking about one of this aim.” He then teased the Soviets further, claiming that Khrushchev's great friends and allies in the third world. Khrushchev's decision to send Soviet missiles to Cuba was The Sino-Indian border conflict would drag on, Deng dictated by the same imperialist logic. "...In shipping continued, because Nehru uses it to receive American missiles to Cuba, did you want to help her or to ruin her? economic assistance. “Many political figures in the We have become suspicious that you, in shipping missiles countries of Asia-Nasser (Egypt), Kasem (Iraq), Sukarno to Cuba, were trying to place her under your control.”25 [Indonesia), U Nu (Burma)—are taking the same positions
The barbs hit their target, hurting Soviet pride. Suslov as Nehru. Nehru stands out among them; he is the apparently had to dip into Soviet archives to quote from cleverest. He did not waste the time he spent studying in the transcript of the Khrushchev-Mao conversation, in England; the English are more experienced than the order to respond to Deng's allegations. “Com. Deng Americans in political tricks." "The struggle with bourXiaoping," he said on 10 July, “after all you were present geois figures of this sort is one of the most important at the discussion between Com. Khrushchev and Com. problems facing the international communist movement.” Mao Zedong on 31 July 1958 and took part in it. Have
Chervonenko, however, preferred to conclude his you really forgotten the following statement made by memo to Moscow on a brighter note. He cited Deng as Com. Khrushchev in the course of the conversation: saying that “the issue of developing a movement in "Never have we at the CC of the CPSU ever had the support of Khrushchev's statement [at the Supreme Soviet] thought of jointly building a fleet... We considered it
was being examined in the CC CCP" “Deng Xiaoping necessary to talk about the issue of building a fleet, but we asked me to convey a warm greeting to comrade N.S. neither thought about or considered it necessary to
Khrushchev and to all of the members of the Presidium of construct a joint factory or a joint fleet.” According to the CC CPSU on behalf of comrades Mao Zedong, Liu Suslov, Mao responded to these words: “If it is so, then all Shaoqi, and all of the leaders of the CC CPSU. The the dark clouds have dispersed.”26
Americans are closing ranks against us, he said, but their Documentary evidence is still lacking on Deng's role closing of ranks is insecure. Our solidarity, and the in the Sino-Soviet disputes and meetings of 1959, particu- solidarity of the countries of the socialist camp is inviolarly during the famous confrontation between Khrushchev lable, since it is founded on a unity of ideas and goals."27 and the Chinese leadership in Beijing in October 1959. People in the Kremlin and the Soviet embassy in Beijing The traces of Deng Xiaoping become once again visible in apparently treated this as an encouraging signal. The the first months of 1960, when he met with Soviet Ambas- Embassy's Political Letter in July 1960 specifically sador Stepan Chervonenko. Clearly, Sino-Soviet tension referred to this conversation and mentioned there were was on both their minds. Chervonenko, the relatively new "grounds to expect" Sino-Soviet rapprochement on the Soviet man in China, did his best to tell Khrushchev and basis of a common anti-American line.28 the rest of the Politburo what they were eager to hear.
It did not take long for the Soviets to see their hopes When Khrushchev denounced Eisenhower and the CIA in dashed to pieces. In early June 1960, at a meeting of the Moscow and derailed the May 1960 summit in Paris after World Federation of Trade Unions in Beijing, Deng the infamous U-2 incident, his image in the Chinese Xiaoping turned his “bad side” to them. The most recent leadership dramatically improved. The Soviet ambassador evidence on this and subsequent events in Sino-Soviet
relations comes from transcripts of CPSU plenums.
delegation in Moscow that the Chinese were planning to Reporting to the plenum on 13 July 1960, Khrushchev's give substantial means for restoration of the tomb of party deputy Frol Kozlov reported that on 5 June the Ghengis Khan and that this smacks of “yellow peril."33 Politburo of the CC CCP“ had invited around 40 commu- For his attack on Khrushchev, Deng singled out the nists-leaders of foreign trade unions, to dinner, followed Soviet Chairman's failed attempt to reach accommodation by a conference” of trade unionists. Liu Shaoqi opened with President Eisenhower and Khrushchev's refusal to this conference, and then “com. Deng Xiaoping took the support China in its conflict with India in the second half floor, and his speech contained a number of absolutely of 1959-early 1960. "Why did comrade Khrushchev speak false positions, which contained an obvious distortion of with such high expectations about Eisenhower?" "We the line of the CPSU." Deng, according to Kozlov's story, would like to ask you with whom would you line up in the declared that the CPSU and other fraternal parties had moment of trouble? With Eisenhower, with Nehru, or with "tossed overboard the main points of the Declaration" of the fraternal socialist country, with China?"34 Then, to the communist conference of November 1957.29 Perhaps maximize the power of his attack Deng rolled out a this pushed Khrushchev over the edge leading to the complete list of complaints: Stalin's violation of Chinese abrupt removal of Soviet advisors and technical personnel sovereignty in the treaty of 1950, the discussion of radio from China.
stations and joint fleet in 1958, etc. He explained to the The trade union conference in Beijing was, as it Soviets that this was necessary to overcome “father-son” turned out, China's preparation for the clash with the syndrome in the Sino-Soviet relationship. However, the USSR at the congress of “fraternal parties” in Bucharest in Soviets, who had heard it many times before since 1954, late June 1960, where Khrushchev and the leaders of the genuinely wondered why it was necessary to "unearth" all East European countries all participated. With Deng those issues that had been long resolved. The discussion Xiaoping absent from the Bucharest congress, the role of revolved around the same issues without making any ideological hit-men fell to Peng Zhen, Kang Sheng, Wu progress. Xiuquan, and Liu Xiao. It is not clear what the little
Still, the Chinese did not burn their bridges to “terrier” was busy with at that time. Three years later he Khrushchev at that time: the Soviet chairman definitely explained it away with a joke. “I said (then] I was
“improved" after the U-2 incident. For that reason Deng fortunate that (instead of me) went com. Peng Zhen. His Xiaoping, while criticizing Khrushchev and his foreign weight is around 80 kilograms, so he endured. If I had policy of the recent past, said words that were honey for gone, and I weigh only a bit over 50 kilograms, I would the hearts of the Soviets: that differences in opinions" not have endured.” Deng Xiaoping referred to the
between Beijing and Moscow would be gradually overatmosphere of heckling in Bucharest that he blamed on the come through the mechanism of periodic consultations
and in the interests of joint struggle against the common This first open split at a major communist forum led enemy." Reciprocating. Suslov asked the Chinese “to pass to the first bilateral consultations in Moscow on 17-22 most sincere greetings on behalf of our delegation and the September 1960. Deng Xiaoping headed the delegation Presidium of our CC to the Central Committee of the CC which included Peng Zhen, Chen Boda, Kang Sheng, Yang of China and to comrade Mao Zedong.” He then invited Shangkun, Hu Qiaomu, Liu Zhengqi, Wu Xiuquan and Liu the Chinese delegation to lunch with the Soviet delegaXiao. The Soviet team included Suslov (head of the
Once again, Deng was a tactical winner: he put the delegation), Khrushchev's first deputy Frol Kozlov,
Soviets on the defensive by his criticism and still kept Kuusinen, Pospelov, Ponomarev, Andropov, Iloichev, them at bay by dangling the promise of renewed friendphilosopher Constantinov, Grishin and Ambassador ship. Chervonenko.31 The transcripts of the discussions, found Deng Xiaoping soon came to Moscow again in in the East German archives, reveal tactics and positions of October to take part in the work of a Commission and an both sides. 32 Apparently the Soviet delegation's main Editorial Group, to prepare documents for the congress of goal was to rescue the November conference and, while communist parties in November 1960—the largest ever in conducting ideological polemics with the Chinese, achieve the history of the communist movement. After the first some kind of a fraternal understanding. Deng must have two quiet days, according to Suslov's report, Deng understood that Khrushchev and the Soviets had a vital criticized a draft declaration of the congress proposed by stake in preventing an open split. Yet he deliberately the Soviet side as “inadequate” and directed against the tested the Soviet mettle.
CCP. After that the confrontational atmosphere came In one instance he drew a distinction between
back. At that time the Chinese delegation acquired a first Khrushchev, who “stands at the head of Soviet comrades satellite-the Albanian delegation.36 who attack China,” and Kozlov and Suslov, from whom
Mao's terrier leaped forward again amid the work of the Chinese “have not heard (anti-Chinese] speeches.” the great Moscow congress. After Khrushchev's major That provocative pitch evoked indignant rebuffs from address to the meeting, in the presence of communist both. In another instance, Deng told the Soviet delegation delegates from 67 countries Deng Xiaoping, according to that allegedly Khrushchev had remarked to the Vietnamese Suslov's account, suddenly began to speak instead of Liu
Shaoqi who was announced on the list. Suslov remarked The target of the Chinese delegation at the meeting later that Deng “passed up in total silence the speech of was Khrushchev and his de-Stalinization. Kang Sheng com. Khrushchev."37 This figure of silence was probably delivered a most unrestrained speech. “Comrades from the meant to imply how unworthy of attention were the
CPSU call Stalin ‘a murderer,' 'a criminal,' 'a bandit,' 'a pronouncements of the Soviet leader who pretended to be gambler,' 'a despot like Ivan the Terrible, the greatest the head of the world communist movement! Khrushchev dictator in the history of Russia,' a fool,' 'shit,' 'an idiot.' swallowed the bait and had to give a rebuff to Deng
All of these curses and swear words came from the mouth Xiaoping in his second, unplanned speech on 23 Novem- of Com. N.S. Khrushchev." Kang Sheng continued ber. Deng counterattacked on the next day and this sarcastically: “Frankly speaking, we cannot understand at produced a virtual pandemonium at the conference. Each all why the leadership of the CPSU feels such a fierce and every leader of an East European country, West hatred for Stalin, why it uses every kind of the most European communist party, and pro-Moscow organization malicious abuse, why it attacks him with more hatred than elsewhere rushed to the podium to voice their full and it reserves for its enemies?”' unswerving support of the Soviet leader and to appeal to “Can it really be that the achievements of the national the Chinese not to break the “united” ranks.
economy and the development of the newest technology in The Soviet leadership, too, was horrified by a prospect the Soviet Union in several decades have been attained of schism and preferred to offer a compromise to the under the leadership of some sort of ‘fool?' Can it really be Chinese, particularly on the interpretation of Stalin's role. that the bases for the development of nuclear weapons and At this point “bad cop” Deng Xiaoping receded in the missile technology in the Soviet Union have been laid shadow, and "good cop” Liu Shaoqi, much respected in down under the leadership of some sort of ‘fool'? ...Can it Moscow, met with Khrushchev on October 30 to reach a really be that the great victory of the Soviet Army during deal. 38
All this division of labor on the Chinese side was World War Two was won under the command of some sort probably orchestrated in advance, with the active partici- of 'idiot?'...Can it really be that the Communist Party of pation of Mao Zedong. But the Soviets pretended they did the Soviet Union which for a long time had the love and not understand it, hoping to paper over the growing chasm respect of the revolutionary people of the whole world had and eager to end the conference on the note of unity. a “bandit' as its great leader for several decades?...Can it The consultations of July 1963 were also the
really be that communists of all countries considered some byproduct of these Soviet illusions. Moscow proposed sort of 'shit' to be their flagbearer for several decades?" them in a CC CPSU letter of 21 February 1963. Beijing,
“Let us take, for example, com. Khrushchev. He on the contrary, geared itself for ideological battle,
heaped all of the errors of the period of Stalin's publicizing its so called “25 points" (Proposal for the leadership...on Stalin alone while he presented himself as General Line of the International Communist Movement) being completely clean. Can this really convince people? on the very eve of the Sino-Soviet consultations. 39 The
If the memory of men is not too short, they will be able to Chinese “points” of 14 June 1963 fell with a thud on the recall that during Stalin's leadership com. Khrushchev proceedings of the CC CPSU plenum on ideology and more than once extolled Stalin and his policy of struggling naturally became the focus of discussions there.
with counter-revolutionary elements.»42 The discussion in Moscow was a bizarre event, more As we have seen, Deng Xiaoping, by comparison with reminiscent of a scholarly exercise, where each side Kang Sheng, used specific examples from recent internapresented "a report" replete with citations from Lenin, tional history and history of the crises and tensions inside Trotsky, Khrushchev, Mao Zedong, etc. Essentially it was the communist camp in which he was often a direct just another act in the public show, where teams of speech- participant. He, as a leader of the Chinese delegation, writers, cued by instructions of their chiefs, produced found the weakest spot in Khrushchev's defenses-his tomes of vituperative, albeit impossibly turgid polemics. inability to end the Cold War with the West and the Georgii Arbatov, then a scholar at IMEMO in Moscow and zigzags of his foreign policy. First, Deng Xiaoping "consultant" for the CC International Department, became implied that Khrushchev's denunciation of Stalin at the an assistant to the Soviet delegation at the Sino-Soviet 20th Congress of the CPSU was the result of his political talks. He recalls in his memoirs that they consisted of egotism which produced a severe crisis in the communist endless unilateral declarations intended, first, to rip the movement and alliance. other side to shreds and, second, to defend one's own case “After the 20th congress of the CPSU, as a conseand Marxist orthodoxy." Each day of discussion was quence of the so-called struggle against the cult of followed by “a day off.” “As we understood it," writes personality and the full, wholesale denial of Stalin, an antiArbatov, “the Chinese would then go to their embassy and Soviet and anti-Communist campaign was provoked send the text of our statement by coded telegram (probably around the whole world. Taking up a good chance, the with their comments and proposals attached) to Beijing. imperialists, Titoist clique and reactionaries of various They then would wait for the reply. We got the impression countries unleashed an offensive against the Soviet Union, that this was in the form of a final text of their statement in socialist camp and communist parties of different countries
and created grave difficulties for many parties." "On 23
reply to ours."41
Second, Deng Xiaoping condemned Khrushchev's diplomacy of detente toward the West as futile and selfdestructive and here he rose to the height of his rhetoric: “Frankly speaking, into what chaos you have plunged the beautiful socialist camp! In your relations with fraternal countries of the socialist camp you do not act at all in the interests of the entire socialist camp but you act from the position of great power chauvinism and nationalist egotism.” “When you consider that your affairs go well, when
believe you grasped some kind of a straw handed to you by Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nehru or somebody else, then you are beyond yourself from joy and in all fury against those fraternal parties and fraternal countries which do not obey your wand and do not want to be under your sway, and then you condemn the socialist camp to total oblivion."
“When you are in trouble, when you suffer setbacks because of your erroneous policy, then you get enraged and vent it on fraternal parties and countries who stick to principles and the truth, then you make them 'scapegoats,' then you even sacrifice the interests of the entire socialist camp in order to cater to imperialists and reactionaries and to find a way out.
944 Some of the Soviet representatives seated on the other side of the table, particularly Suslov, a crypto-Stalinist, had their own grave doubts about Khrushchev's foreign policy that coincided with Deng's observation. Yet, as loyal apparatchiks they expressed outrage at "personal attacks on com. N.S. Khrushchev.” Mikhail Suslov described Khrushchev's great leadership qualities: “By his work and struggle, unshakable faith in the cause of the working class, by flexible revolutionary tactics, com. Khrushchev deals precise blows to the imperialists, cleverly uses contradictions in their camp, reveals to broad masses methods of struggle against imperialism and colonialism, for peace, democracy and socialism.”:45 It was of course the same Suslov who directed criticism of the ousted Khrushchev slightly more than a year later, at the October 1964 Plenum of the CPSU.46
There was “the dog that did not bark" in the course of the discussion. The Soviet delegation emphasized the nuclear revolution and the danger of nuclear war as the core of their rethinking of international relations. More concretely, the Sino-Soviet meeting took place in the shadows of the momentous American-British-Soviet negotiations in Moscow that began on July 15 and ended on August 5 with a signing in the Kremlin of a Limited Test-Ban Treaty. In the background exchanges and consultations with Khrushchev, the Americans implicitly and sometimes explicitly proposed to join efforts to thwart the efforts of Beijing to become a nuclear power. On July
15, Kennedy instructed his negotiator Averell Harriman “to elicit K's view of means of limiting or preventing Chinese nuclear development and his willingness either to take Soviet action or to accept U.S. action aimed in this direction.":47 Harriman and other U.S. representatives who met with Khrushchev several times in the period between July 15 and 27, noted that "China...is today Soviet overriding preoccupation" and sought to exploit it by raising the issue of joint preemptive actions against China's nuclear program. However, to the Americans' disappointment, “Khrushchev and Gromyko have shown no interest and in fact brushed subject off on several occasions.":48 Knowing the precarious state of SinoSoviet relations, it is easy to imagine how dismayed and fearful the Soviet leader could have been. For instance, in the morning on Monday July 15 Peng Zhen talked about "serious disagreements" between the CCP and CPSU and appealed to "value unity" between the two countries.
49 And only in the evening of the same day Harriman probed Khrushchev on the Chinese nuclear threat! If the Chinese had only learned about the American entreaties, they would have had deadly ammunition for their attacks against Khrushchev. He would have been compromised in the eyes of most of his own colleagues.
Deng Xiaoping must have been under strict instructions not to touch on the Soviet-American test-ban negotiations. Only in a few instances did he let the Soviets feel how displeased the Chinese were with the rapprochement of the two superpowers on the grounds of mutual regulation of nuclear arms race. “On 25 August 1962," he said, “the Soviet government informed China that it was ready to conclude an agreement with the USA on the prevention of the proliferation of nuclear weapons. In our view, you were pursuing an unseemly goal in coming to such an agreement, namely: to bind China (in its attempts to join the nuclear club—VZ] by the hands and feet through an agreement with the USA.” In commenting on the Cuban Missile Crisis, Deng Xiaoping said that Khrushchev “committed two errors: in shipping the missiles to Cuba, you indulged in adventurism, and then, in showing confusion in the face of nuclear blackmail from the USA, you capitulated.":50
Without seeing cables and instructions from Beijing, it is not possible to say what prompted Deng Xiaoping on July 20 to suggest suspension of the consultations. Researchers have long suggested it was a reaction to the CC CPSU open letter to the Chinese published on July 14. But it is equally plausible that the start and progress of the U.S.-Soviet test-ban talks in Moscow made Mao Zedong increasingly impatient with the consultations. Immediately after the breakup of the consultations the Chinese side began attacks on the talks and on three occasions, 31 July, 15 August, and 1 September 1963, published official statements condemning the Moscow treaty. 51
What was the significance of all these episodes for Deng's political career and the development of his views? The July 1963 performance of Deng Xiaoping was highly